Longwood Joins The Big South

Published 12:48 pm Friday, January 20, 2012

FARMVILLE – Longwood University has accepted an invitation from the Big South Conference to begin play in the league beginning next fall. Around 500 administrators, students, coaches and supporters of the school gathered on Monday afternoon in Blackwell Hall to witness Radford University President and Big South Conference President Penelope W. Kyle and BSC commissioner Kyle Kallander extend the invitation that was accepted by Longwood University President Patrick Finnegan.

President Kyle extended the invitation for Longwood to join “as soon as possible.” Longwood will join the BSC in July, and will begin to play a full schedule in September. Longwood will be eligible for league championships beginning with the 2012 season.

Since announcing its transition from NCAA's Division II to Division I in 2002, the Big South has been the targeted conference for Longwood officials. With limited exception, the school's athletics teams have competed as a Division I Independent since becoming fully eligible in 2007.

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The Big South, which was founded in 1983, is headquartered in Charlotte, NC, and currently has 11 teams in the states of North Carolina (4 – Campbell, Gardner-Webb, High Point and UNC-Asheville), South Carolina (4 – Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Presbyterian and Winthrop) and Virginia (3 – Liberty, Radford and Virginia Military Institute).

In addition to giving the Big South four league members in each of the three states, Longwood's admission also equalizes the balance between public and private schools at six apiece.

Full coverage of the ceremony will be published in Wednesday's Farmville Herald.